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Ava Swirzinski

Mrs. Jenkins

EBA Honors English 10

15 May 2019

Through Trust

Harold Macmillan once said, “A man who trusts nobody is apt to be the kind of man that

nobody trusts” (“52 Quotes”). This value can span many topics, but is most important in a leader.

Leaders are expected to be so many things and evince a plethora of qualities. Looked upon by

others, leaders must be the example and take action. In order to be an effective leader, one must

build trust with others and trust in themselves.

In order for a leader to be successful, especially in the business world, one should ensure

that they generate both internal and external trust. Blake Mycoskie shows us through his book

Start Something That Matters, ​that a leader who has trust for their close employees and outside

followers is a successful one, and one that can prosper. Internal trust is trust within your

company and to those who are close to you; whereas, external trust is with your customers or

outside supports. To foster internal trust, the leader must make their employees or followers feel

safe and welcomed in the environment; this is specifically referring to the inside operations of a

business or leader. It is important to understand that, “...trust between employer and employee is

the cornerstone of your business and your future” (Mycoskie 128). When the employee

understands that the leader trusts them, they are more likely to achieve better results. They no

longer have the intense pressure of trying to be perfect and worrying about failing. Once the
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internal trust is established, your “followers” will work hard for you and have confidence that

what you are saying, doing, and asking is the right thing. “For good ideas to flow smoothly, your

people have to first feel empowered to offer --- and execute--- them” (129). Additionally, it is

important to maintain your external trust just as much as your internal trust. This means making

sure, “...that you have the trust of your customers, your vendors, and your donors -- or whomever

you depend on for survival” (137). Whether you are a leader of a business, country, or just a

group of people, you need the people on the outside to trust in you and the operations of the

business that they don’t see. You need to be transparent in your goals and expectations and by

doing so, you will gain more trust with everyone. Internal and external followers will see that

you are true to what you say and that you have values that reflect your true character.

Throughout history, we can see that trusting leaders are the ones that end up achieving their


Our goals motivate us, but the trust we have in ourselves and others is what carries out

our dreams. One person that portrays this value better than anyone is the highly successful and

well know, Walt Disney. As mentioned before, a trusting leader is an achieving leader, and Walt

exhibits trustworthiness like no other. Disney once said, ​“​You can design and create, and build

the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality​”(​ Jones).

Trusting in others is a great first step in building your trust as a leader. We see this moral in

action during one morning before Disneyland opened. Disney saw some third-shift workers

working in the park and spoke to them about what they were doing and invited them to a

conversation. The workers’ manager saw them and asked for Disney to allow them to finish

working. The manager then asked Disney why he was using his valuable time to speak to these
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workers. Disney then “shared his philosophy with the manager: “Good ideas come from

everyone. Everyone has the potential to contribute creatively to their organization’s success by

​ his philosophy shows us how Disney valued creating

generating new and useful ideas.”​ T

relationships with his employees. Also that gaining their trust and having honest relationships

will lead to the “success of his organization” (Jones). Although trusting in others and

maintaining honesty with others is crucial, having trust in yourself is also a major factor in being

a leader. Arguably the most important quality that Disney had was trust in himself. Walt said

¨[i]f you can dream it, you can do it. Always remember that this whole thing was started by a

mouse”(“​12 Walt ”​ ). His empire did not start with success, Disney began his life being looked

down upon by his dismissive father and had a lack of childhood amenities like toys and games

(“​Business Leader​”). Disney then created the character Oswald the Lucky Rabbit who was stolen

due to copyright. Although a major downfall, Disney trusted in himself and his vision for his

empire, so he persevered (“Walt Disney Company”). Disney truly trusted in himself and that no

matter the obstacles, he would achieve his dream. Disney is an exceptional example of how trust

can be used to fuel your goals and dreams, as well as make you a successful leader. On the other

hand, however, some leaders show us how the absence of trust can be a tragic downfall.

Tragic downfalls are most often discussed in terms of a tragic hero, and mostly in

literature. William Shakespeares, ​Julius Caesar​ includes many tragic heroes that exhibit, that

without internal and external trust, a leader will fail.​ J​ ulius Caesar begins as the unofficial leader

of Rome, and off the bat does not have a trusting relationship with his friends. In the opening of

the play, Brutus and Cassius gossip about the potential crowning of Caesar. Brutus tells Cassius

¨[i]f it be aught toward the general good,/Set honor in one eye and death i' th' other,/And I will
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look on both indifferently”(Act 1. Scene 2. ln 84-86). We see how although these men are

friends, they do not have the trust in Caesar to be the leader. Caesar has not created a strong and

forthright relationship with his closest companions. Furthermore, even though the plebeians see

him as a good leader, his downfall is more centered in his internal relationships. Due to the weak

trust with his friends, they end up killing him, pleading that his leadership would lead Rome into

a disaster. This could have been avoided if Caesar had been upfront with his friends and allowed

them to understand his true motives. Brutus shows us how the lack of trust with others correlates

with the absence of good leadership qualities. After Caesar’s death, Brutus endeavors to rally

together the crowd in order to make them believe that killing Caesar was the noble thing to do.

At this point in time, Brutus has gained their trust, but only artificially since he is bending the

truth. The crowd trusts in Brutus so much that they say he (Brutus) should “...be Caesar” (Act 3.

Scene 2. ln 52). We then see the downfall of Brutus and his trustworthiness when Antony begins

to make his speech for Caesar’s death. Antony sarcastically points out the great things Caesar did

and asks “Did this in Caesar seem ambitious” (Act 3. Scene 2. ln 92). After a long speech from

Antony, the plebeians realize that the trust they previously had in Brutus was not thought through

thoroughly. This relays the idea that a strong relationship based on honesty and trust is essential

in order for you to maintain your followers. Julius Caesar and his supporting characters convey

the point that a leader without trust will not succeed and ultimately lead to a downfall.

There is more to a leader than just trust. There is also being compassionate, contributing

to your employees, being competent in the task at hand, and creating a connection. However, the

one thing that these characteristics have in common is trust. Compassion, not only thinking about

yourself but actually caring for others. A leader who shows compassion will build trust with
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others. The employees will believe that they have their best interests in mind. The next trait is

contribution, which is the physical result of a situation. When your employees see that the leader

can carry out their goals and visions, their trust increases. If you fail to produce the results, you

will fail to create trust. Additionally, the results are not the be all end all. You also need to be

competent. Maintaining a high level of understanding (Horsager). Others have confidence and

will build trust with a leader who is relevant and “stays relevant.” Lastly, having a connection

with people. “Trust is all about relationships and relationships are best built by having a genuine

connection” (Horsager). A solid connection with others will ensure a strong bond rooted in trust.

These traits of trust that mold the ideal leader are shown through the Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh.

In the Zappos company, many employees work from all around the country and are unable to

interact face to face on a daily basis. So in order to maintain success, they have implemented a

series of solutions. The teams check in with one another online and on social media and make

sure to communicate often (“Company Culture”). Their daily routines, to check on coworkers

and be responsive is essential. One of Zappos’s software engineers, Porter Littlepage says that

the daily routines and communication, “[B]uilds trust and rapport with my teammates despite not

sitting in the same room” (Christoffersen). Once again trust prevails.

From literature to business, and even “Where Dreams Come True”, trust is the glue that a

leader should pursue. Cultivate internal and external trust, be a transparent person who is in the

know, and communicate to build honest relationships. When completed, results will follow. And

keep in mind, from the famous Paracanthurus hepatus who told you to “Just keep swimming”,

remember, “[T]rust. It’s what friends do” (“9 Dory”).

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Works Cited

Bright Drops. (2019). ​12 Walt Disney Quotes That Will Inspire You | Bright Drops.​ [online]

Available at: https://brightdrops.com/inspiring-walt-disney-quotes Accessed 1 May 2019.

Christoffersen, Trish. “How To Keep Company Culture In A Remote Worker's World.”

Zappos.com​, 2 Aug. 2018, www.zappos.com/about/culture-fit-remote-workers.

Horsager, David. “You Can't Be A Great Leader Without Trust -- Here's How You Build It.”

Forbes​, Forbes Magazine, 28 Mar. 2017,



Jones, B. (2019). “Leadership Lessons from Walt Disney: Building Relationships”, ​Disney

Institute​. [online] Disneyinstitute.com. Available at:



ships/ Accessed 1 May 2019.

Mycoskie, Blake. ​Start Something That Matters​. Spiegel & Grau., 2012.

Oh My Disney. “9 Dory Quotes Deeper Than the Drop Off.” ​Oh My Disney​, Oh My Disney , 31

July 2017, ohmy.disney.com/movies/2015/04/23/9-dory-quotes-deeper-than-the-drop-off/.

Shakespeare, W. (1999). ​The tragedy of Julius Caesar.​ Austin: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.

"Walt Disney." ​Business Leader Profiles for Students,​ edited by Sheila Dow and Jaime E. Noce,

vol. 1, Gale, 1999. ​Biography In Context,​ http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/. Accessed

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15 Oct. 2018.

“Walt Disney Company.” ​WBO Student,​ www.worldbookonline.com/student-new. Accessed 5

Oct. 2018.

“52 Quotes about Trust and Leadership.” ​ConantLeadership​, 3 Aug. 2016,